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Top UN Humanitarian Official to Visit Syria on Wednesday. Kofi Annan’s Scheduled for Saturday

OCHA Chief Valerie Amos announced via Twitter on Monday that the Syrian government, finally, permitted her to visit the country. Later in the day, Kofi Annan announced that he would visit the country on March 10. These are the first high level contacts that the Syrian regime is permitting the country since a failed Arab League observer mission failed to stem the violence. Prior to the visits, it looks like the government is scaling up its attacks and still preventing humanitarian aid from freely flowing to hard hit areas. “But activists said Syrian security forces widened their ferocious campaign to crush opposition in the most restive areas, sending troops into Dara’a, the southern town where the protests began a year ago. Troops also bombarded the town of Rastan in central Syria, not far from Homs, a center of the uprising that has been devastated by more than a month of shelling and gunfire.  (NYT http://nyti.ms/xtkoGA)

International Women’s Day*

Section on Reuters yourTrust on empowering rural women: http://bit.ly/wia4co

Andrea Cornwall argues in the Guardian Development site that development has brought little real change to women. “If women and girls are really to be put at the heart of development efforts, a good place to begin is to ask not what women and girls can do for development, but what development might do for them.”  http://bit.ly/wrinP6

A post by Duncan Green on Friday on the topic of women and aid blogging sparked an interesting discussion on gender. A rundown of the discussion and additional thoughts from Tom: http://bit.ly/wnZKF6

The Daily Beast lists the 150 women who shake the world: http://bit.ly/wbbNgt

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